Tile entire pool?

Old 05-17-08, 11:41 AM
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Tile entire pool?


I've got an old concrete pool with old paint. Paint is chipped. It doesn't look good. Old tile around the waterline too.

I was thinking of tackling a big DIY project. I would like to tile the entire pool with 12 x 12 sheets of dark blue glass mosaic.

Something like this

I've tiled fireplaces, kitchens and baths before. This pool project would be a first for me. I was thinking about taking some time off work and doing it over the next 2 weeks.

Anybody have any experience with this kind of project?

What steps do I need to do to prep the concrete?

What kind of thin set is best for this glass tile on mesh?

Our pool is on the side of a hill. Do I need to take any extra precautions to drain it?

Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Old 05-17-08, 02:31 PM
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like yourself, ive tiled various rooms, complete baths, and tile around the premiter of pool / spa combinations using various tiles, shapes , sizes, numerous cuts, angels,

I have personally seen a complete pool tiled with the glass tile you mentioned, 15 X 75 ft. pool , seperate spa 8 x 8

the prep to straighten the walls, & level the floor end to end & side to side took over 5 weeks, the actual tile took 6 weeks @ 4 men

finished product absolutely fantastic,

HOWEVER, this is absolutely not the first complete pool tile job you want to learn on , nor is it the one you want to learn on using that very expensive tile.

sorry, your may not like what im telling you but , its the truth.


if you would like to see the pictures i have , send me your e-mail address

Old 05-17-08, 08:00 PM
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Thanks for the reply

Steve. I just emailed you.

6 weeks? And 4 guys? Oh no! My pool is much smaller and no spa. It will be me and a friend. I'm probably going to give it a shot and do it unless some of you guys can talk me out of it.

To be honest, my biggest concern is draining the pool.

Thanks again. If you can think of anything else please let me know.
Old 05-20-08, 10:11 AM
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Kevin W4.
I'm very interested in how your project turns out.
My husband and I are considering the very same project. Expect, perhaps, with lesser quality tile for our 10x20 indoor pool.
My husband has done lots of tile work including custom showers with mortar bed shower pans and we have a great concrete contractor to do the shell. I just gofer to help keep the work moving.

I guess when you talk about drainage you're concerned about draining it prior to the project and having it empty maybe causing damage to the pool.?.?.?

For a couple hundred bucks you can have a civil engineer look at your soil and give advise. Like if you're in a very wet area, soil that's extra saturated might be putting so much force on the pool that the water currently in the pool is equalizing the pressure. Therefore, what happens when its empty.

We also are building on a hillsilde--its mostly gravel--and because the material drains so well, our engineer has, throughout the project, emphasized that drainage will not be an issue. But when we talk about drainage we're looking down the road at the potential of cracks in the pool and keep that water from entering our basement as its ~5' from the pool. Also, the fact that the soil drains so well means that if our project was like yours--refinishing an existing pool, there would be no concerns for the pool structure being damaged by being drained and left so for a few weeks.

Good luck with your project. Please keep us posted.
Old 05-23-08, 02:14 PM
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if your biggest concern is draining the pool, then I've got to agree with Steve - you shouldn't tackle this project.

For starters, that not "old paint" you are seeing - it's a plaster coating on top of the concrete. The chipping means the integrity of the material is in question - that's what happens to old plaster. Putting tile on a marginal substrate is always a bad idea. In a pool it would be a disaster.
Old 05-28-08, 11:57 AM
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I agree with sandbagger. Our pool is a 16x32 with 9ft deep end and stairs and bench in corner on shallow end. The pool was built in 1977 and has the original white plaster finish still.
My opinion:
Tile is too slippery especially on stairs. It is tough to see dirt or algae on tiled pools. Depending on the color of tile and grout the water doesnt Sparkle like an ALL white plastered pool. Also you will be fighting pink slime/algae in grout joints.
When we replaster our pool, In addition to new waterline tile we are going to use Frost proof Cobalt Blue 2x2 Tiles inlaid in plaster on outer edge of each stairs going into pool. And a couple rows across width of pool at the break where shallow end drops to deep end. It will be Safer and look nice. Sorry for going into a long rant but grew up with pool in backyard and since my bread and butter is pools, I tend to share too much!

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